Trio nets 36 years for record drug bust
Three men, including two Chinese nationals, have been sentenced at Richmond provincial court to a combined 36 years in prison for their part in a record drug seizure involving ketamine back in 2010.
The trio conspired to smuggle 1,000 kilograms of ketamine, known by the street name Special K and Vitamin, in a shipment of coffee mugs.
The Richmond-bound shipment at the Port of Vancouver was X-rayed, which revealed discrepancies that resulted in a closer look.
The 402-carton shipment included 318 cartons of coffee mugs, and another 84 with coffee mugs stuffed with vacuum-sealed bags containing a white powder that was later tested, and confirmed to be ketamine.
The shipment, according to federal Crown counsel John Walker, was worth between $5 and $8 million at the wholesale level, and perhaps as much as $50 million at street level.
It was the largest seizure of its kind in Canadian history, amounting to one million doses that were kept off the streets.
In November, Walker said the two Chinese nationals—Yiu Tim Kwok and Wing Kee Ng—were the principals in the importation scheme, and he sought 16-year sentences following their trials.
Vancouver’s Hin Cheung Lau played a “less significant” role, but he was “still essential” to the large scale drug distribution scheme.
While ketamine isn’t the most serious Schedule 1 drug, it is used as a date rape drug, and creates the illusion of an “out of body experience.”
But legitimately, it’s used by veterinarians as a horse tranquilizer.
Vancouver’s Hin Cheung Lau was sentenced to nine years, 19 days in prison for possessing a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
Chinese national Yiu Tim Kwok was sentenced to 13 years, 8 months and 22 days in prison for importing a controlled substance, nine years, 8 months and 22 days for possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
Chinese national Wing Kee Ng was sentenced to 13 years, four months and 19 days for importing a controlled substance, and nine years, four months, 19 days for possession of a controlled substance for the purposes of trafficking.